DAVID WAGNER | AUSTRIA | 2022 | 87 MIN | GERMAN S.-T.EN.
Based on true events and with the restraint of a hardened soldier, Eismayer follows the titular sergeant major as a brazenly out and proud “Yugo” emboldens him to temper his fearsome tyranny, if only he can release his stranglehold on the truth.
Charles Eismayer (Gerhard Liebmann) is a neglectful husband and committed military man, the kind of guy who smokes in the shower. He is dreaded by new recruits cowed by brutal rumours and disliked by other superiors in the Austrian army, who find his hard-driven ways unbefitting for modern times. Nevertheless, Mario Falak (Luka Dimić) refuses to be intimidated. He’s the kind of guy who would rather run a “lap of honour” naked than give into homophobic treatment from his comrades and Eismayer’s in-your-face orders. Thus begins a begrudging mutual respect and simmering sexual tension between Eismayer and Falak that will test hierarchies and reveal the limits of control. David Wagner’s military romance is seamlessly constructed with resonant match cuts and symbolism. We keep returning to a shot of light snowfall in the abandoned brick shell of a dwelling, unsure what it might portend, but longing for a thaw.
screening at Cinéma Impérial only | NOVEMBER 19th 7PM